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Sooner or later, you're going to find Win95 lacks something you need. Utility shareware is the operating system's lifeblood, adding new and convenient ways to launch programs, manage files and overcome limitations in Win95's user interface. The enhancements in this section offer keystroke-saving ways to access files, automate system maintenance, handle Windows Clipboard and more.
Drag and File Gold 3.54
Drag and File Gold includes many of the features Microsoft left out of Win95's Explorer, and is a super file manager, zip manager, program-launcher and antivirus package all rolled into one. It features side-by-side listings for multiple partitions, horizontal and vertical tiling of file windows, extensive sorting options, multiple display filters, custom confirmation options for Copy/Move/Delete, print directory listings, the ability to synchronize two directories and more.
The package's Drag-and-Zip component (you can also buy a cheaper version of Drag and File without it) turns the interface into a full-featured archive manager. Drag and Zip lets you compress and decompress zip and LHARC archives on the fly, browse their contents, drag and drop files into and out of archives, test compression integrity, and convert zipped archives into self-executing files-all with a right-click of the mouse. This version also bundles flexible task and application launch bars, and a virtual screen utility. $55; without Drag and Zip, $35, Canyon Software, Download DFGOLD.EXE, 1.77MB.
AutoMate is the Windows scheduling application par excellence. You can use it to set up simple tasks (run ScanDisk or defrag your hard disk every week) or more complicated conditional procedures (log into your Internet Provider, check e-mail and clean up your mailbox every Friday only if x number of messages have been received, for example). AutoMate lets you select any DOS or Windows program and create launch events at specific times. You can link your events to macros and create complex DDE scripts involving multiple applications. In addition, a macro can play a sound or reboot the machine. The program is available in Windows 3.1x, Windows 95 and Windows NT. Standard Edition, $39.95 (without advanced Macro support); Professional Edition, $119.95, Unisyn Corp., Download AUTOMATE.EXE, 6.91MB.
An enhancement to the Windows Clipboard, ClipMate lets you set up an unlimited number of text and graphics-image collections, limited only by the available space on your hard disk. The PowerPaste feature lets you choose a series of selections in a ClipMate collection and successively paste them into a single document by repeatedly hitting the Paste button or selecting the menu option in the application. The Auto Glue feature lets you combine a series of text-Clipboard entries into a single item. $25, Thornsoft Development, Download CM32_426.EXE, 623KB.
Do you ever get tired of Windows 95 backup utilities and wish you could set up an emergency recovery system from DOS? Normally, Win95's long filenames stop you from doing this, but DOSlfnbk bypasses the problem. It records and restores long filenames and file attributes from within Win95 or NT, or a true MS-DOS command prompt. This makes it possible to use older DOS-based backup and archive programs with Win95. It also lets you recover from a catastrophic disk crash without reinstalling Win95 first. Version 2.1 supports Win95 SR2's FAT32 partitions as well as classic Windows 95. $10, D.J. Murdoch, Download DOSLFN22.ZIP, 46.7KB.
RegView enhances Windows 95's RegEdit program with several sophisticated features. A convenient toolbar lets you print, search and replace, or search and delete specified Registry keys, and limit the search to a specific root branch. If you've ever installed a program and discovered Windows 95 is suddenly acting strangely, RegView is the tool for you. It can help you identify changes made to the system Registry, INI files and directory/file contents, allowing you to view and restore settings from your system configuration's last good version. $39, Vincent Chiu, Download REGVIEW.ZIP, 464KB
TurboBrowser takes a slightly different approach to Windows 95 file management. Although the application lacks Drag and File's multiple drive displays and file-sorting options, it adds useful file-preview functions, bitmap conversions and special file queues. Built-in file viewers let you display a wide variety of word processing, database, spreadsheet, vector and bitmap file types. Have you ever wanted to select 50 files in an Explorer window? TurboBrowser's PrintQ can hold and manage documents associated with different program types, and print them all without generating printer time-outs or crashing the system. Similar queues are included for zipping and unzipping, bitmap file conversion, file viewing and multimedia play. $59, Pacific Gold Coast Corp., Download TBNTPREV.EXE, 1.70MB
Windows Magazine, September 1997, page 200.
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